We think of Botox as an anti-aging injection, but for some time, migraine patients have been getting some relief from those tiny shots in the forehead.
Apparently, just as Botox paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles, it can also paralyze the source of migraine pain. Now, some doctors are taking this a step further. They are using Botox to identify those migraine trigger points to plan surgery.
By using the Botox paralyzed muscles as a guide, some doctors are surgically removing the ones that cause the migraines. Nicole Leman had this surgery a few months ago and says she hasn't had a migraine since.
"It was so amazing just being able to concentrate and being able to do things and not to have that constant throbbing pain." said Leman.
"There are nerves that travel through the muscles. These are the same muscles that make you frown. They are called the Corrugated Muscles. There are nerves that travel through those muscles and it is thought that those nerves are being irritated, compressed or entrapped by the muscle which causes pain." said Jeffrey Janis, a plastic surgeon for U.T. Southwest Medical Center.
Dr. Janis makes a small incision hidden by the hairline to remove a small amount of muscle and maybe a section of the nerve. Patients should know that Botox is not FDA approved for this because this surgery is relatively new.For that reason, we don't even know yet how long the effects will last. But researchers are hopeful that someday, this may become a routine option for the estimated ten million Americans who suffer from chronic migraines